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Scott Brown Calls Shaheen 'Naive' on Boko Haram, Radical Islam

Image: Scott Brown Calls Shaheen 'Naive' on Boko Haram, Radical Islam

By    |   Monday, 19 May 2014 06:20 PM

Republican challenger Scott Brown has blasted New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as “naïve” for denying the link between radical Islam and the jihadist kidnapping of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls.

Brown’s comment came in response to remarks by Shaheen at a Senate hearing last week, where she praised a senior State Department official’s claim that “Boko Haram’s philosophy is not an Islamic philosophy.”

“Boko Haram proudly shares al-Qaida’s mission and ideology. They kidnapped these girls and are now forcing them to embrace radical Islam in all respects. It is naive to think they have nothing to do with religion,” said Brown, a
former U.S. senator from Massachusetts and one of five candidates seeking the New Hampshire Republican Senate nomination in the Sept. 9 primary.

In the Senate, Brown
introduced a bill in 2012, directing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to report to Congress on designating Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization. Shaheen was silent on the matter, and the legislation died in committee.

Led by Clinton, the Obama administration
fought against designating Boko Haram a terror group two years ago.

Clinton “ignored pleas by the Justice Department, the FBI, and U.S. intelligence officials to designate Boko Haram a foreign terrorist organization because the State Department claimed the group was motivated by poverty and low levels of literacy,” Lignet chief analyst
Fred Fleitz wrote.

To keep the group off the terror list, “Clinton and other senior officials had to ignore links between Boko Haram and Islamist terrorist groups” including Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, according to Fleitz. 

Clinton’s successor as secretary of state, John F. Kerry, designated Boko Haram a terror group  in November after it carried out a series of church bombings and other high-profile terrorist attacks that killed more than 160 civilians, including women and children.

But at a Senate hearing last week, Robert Jackson, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, sought to downplay Boko Haram’s links to radical Islam. He said the group’s actions are “not about Islam,” adding that “Boko Haram’s philosophy is not an Islamic philosophy.”

“I agree, and I’m glad that you made that point,” Shaheen told Jackson. “Clearly, we need to make sure that Islam is not confused with some of these horrible terrorist acts that have been and continue to be perpetrated by terrorist groups.”

Brown responded that Shaheen’s comments were “naïve” because Boko Haram seeks to impose “a twisted form of Islam that is spreading around the world and which is intent on destroying Western society.”

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Republican challenger Scott Brown has blasted New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as “naïve” for denying the link between radical Islam and the jihadist kidnapping of several hundred Nigerian schoolgirls.
US, politics, terrorism, Nigeria
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2014-20-19
Monday, 19 May 2014 06:20 PM
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